Five out of the 25 Kano state government-sponsored medical students studying in October 6 University, Egypt, have been arrested by the country’s police over a failure to pay 13 months accommodation fees.
The management of the Egyptian university made the disclosure in a letter of notification to the Executive Secretary of the state scholarship board, dated February 20 and obtained by DAILY NIGERIAN.
The letter, signed by the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Internal Strategies and Cultural Relations, Dr Khair El-din Abellatef, warned that the remaining students may face the same fate if the government fail to urgently intervene.
Similarly, in an audio message sent to DAILY NIGERIAN, one of the students, who identified himself as Dahir said their upkeep and accommodation fees have not been paid by the current administration of Abdullahi Ganduje for 17 months.
Recounting their ordeal, Mr Dahir, a 600-level student, said they had been consistently been faced with harassment from their landlords for failing to pay their rent for months.
According to him, the landlords had to seize their international passports as collateral until they settle their debts completely.
“Seeing that seizing our passports was not paying off, they have now resorted to taking us to a police station. As I am speaking now, 5 of us had been arrested by the police.
“We had to struggle, although with the intervention of our agents, to secure their release.
“We, therefore, asked the school management to notify our scholarship board. They had written a letter to the education secretary to that effect.
“We appeal to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje to help us settle these debts because they told us that the remaining students will also be arrested if they fail to settle their rental fees,” Mr Dahir stated.
When DAILY NIGERIAN contacted the Executive Secretary of the state scholarship board, prof. Fatima Umar said she received the letter of notification from the university and had duly forwarded same to the office of the state governor for action.
However, the executive secretary advised the student to remain calm until after the 2019 elections when the government would be free from political distractions.
DAILY NIGERIAN recalls that the foreign scholarship scheme was introduced by the administration of a former governor Rabiu Kwankwaso in 2012.
But our correspondent gathered that the present administration has since put off the scheme following allegations of fraudulent activities by the immediate past administration.